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Causes of Foundation Problems

Often the need for foundation repairs arises from a combination of the heavy rains, hot drying days, occasional plumbing problems, and the highly expansive soil of the Dallas-Ft Worth area.

DFW's soil is most often the root cause of our foundation problems.  Our soil contains varying levels of a clay material called Montmorillonite.  Due to the presence of this clay, water may cause the soil to expand by as much as 30%, up to 6 inches in some areas of Dallas-Ft Worth.  The different levels of moisture at the perimeter and interior under the house creates upheaval, slumping and slab breaking forces, that create the need for foundation repairs.  It is also possible that the problems began during construction, due to inadequate soil compaction, improper land slope (drainage), or inadequate foundation design.

Watering  - Excessive water on one or more sides of a house causes soil swelling at the perimeter, while the center of the foundation remains relatively stable. Stress builds and slabs break, leading to the need for repairs.

Drainage When land slopes toward the house, water flow is under and around that portion of the foundation, causing swelling and sometimes erosion. Slope must be downward, away from house. Check for adequate drainage of A/C units and gutters.  No ponding or pooling of water near the house.  

Sun and Heat Areas of the foundation that receive full sunlight dry out first. Both in summer and winter, walk around the house and look for soil pulling away from the slab. In the absence of shade trees, the Southwest corner quickly bakes dry each summer.

Trees and Shrubs Planted close to the house, roots reach under the house, sucking moisture, causing excessive drying and soil shrinkage.

Plumbing Leaks Localized swelling of the soil occurs due to dripping water or sewage pipes and when left unattended, will cause the need for foundation repairs.

Soil Compaction Builders sometimes fail to adequately compact the soil.  Poorly compacted areas provide inadequate foundation support, leading to foundation failure.


For phone consultation about foundation repair, or to schedule an appointment for a free foundation evaluation, contact us at:   (817) 540-FIXX.